Opinion

Billy Butler dropped in batting order as Royals face Indians

Designated hitter Billy Butler strikes out during the Royals’ June 25 game against the Dodgers at Kauffman Stadium.
Designated hitter Billy Butler strikes out during the Royals’ June 25 game against the Dodgers at Kauffman Stadium. The Kansas City Star

Billy Butler has one hit in 19 at-bats on this road trip. Salvador Perez has six hits in 15 at-bats. On Saturday afternoon, Royals manager Ned Yost decided it was no longer sensible to give Butler more opportunities at the place than Perez.

So Perez moves into the No. 3 spot, and Butler will bat sixth on Saturday.

"That [third] spot has come up here in the last four or five games with some opportunity to create some production," Yost said. "Salvy’s the hottest guy that we’ve got right now. So we’ll put Salvy in there."

Yost referenced the disconnect between Perez’s hitting and his lack of run production. Perez is batting .362 in his last 13 games, but he has only five RBI. His hot streak coincides with slumps by Butler and Alex Gordon.

"He’s hitting the ball really, really well, and not much production to show for it," Yost said. "Because nobody’s on in front of him."

The American League Central division baseball game starts at 6:05 p.m. It will not be available on local television, because of Fox’s Saturday blackout restrictions.

Here are the lineups as RHP Jeremy Guthrie (5-6, 3.69 ERA) faces LHP T.J. House (0-2, 4.54 ERA):

ROYALS (45-40)

1. Lorenzo Cain, RF.

2. Eric Hosmer, 1B.

3. Salvador Perez, C.

4. Alex Gordon, LF.

5. Omar Infante, 2B.

6. Billy Butler, DH.

7. Danny Valencia, 3B.

8. Alcides Escobar, SS.

9. Jarrod Dyson, CF.

INDIANS (41-44)

1. Michael Bourn, CF.

2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS.

3. Michael Brantley, LF.

4. Carlos Santana, 1B.

5. Jason Kipnis, 2B.

6. Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B.

7. Nick Swisher, DH.

8. David Murphy, RF.

9. George Kottaras, C.

To reach Andy McCullough, call 816-234-4370 or send email to rmccullough@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @McCulloughStar.

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